Friday, 24 May 2019

a white flag with an insignia that looks like an eagle vomiting two strips of bacon

Via Coudal Partners’ Fresh Signals, the American state of Illinois may have been saddled with a pretty awful banner, but it is heartening to know it is far from alone in that category with quite a few others having some quite poorly designed flags. None, I think could top the city flag of Tampa, Florida for the sheer volume and density of vexillological violations.  More to explore at the links above.

number 10

croquet lawns, village greens

Reigning as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and later Empress of India from 1837 until her death in 1901, Alexandrina Victoria was born on this day in 1819. Having already declared itself to be a constitutional monarchy with more reforms to come, Victoria wielded no direct political power but was an important national figurehead and moral compass at a time of great social and technological change. Through a series of strategically arranged marriages of her issue with her consort Prince Albert (thirty four who survived into adulthood) to royal houses on the continent, Victoria earned the sobriquet of “Grandmother of Europe,” though kissing-cousins were no guarantors of peace.


location scout: travel destinations that embrace the Wes Anderson (previously) aesthetic

digit-1: Ford prototypes a foldable robot that might be delivering your packages soon

homer’s phobia: a look back at the 1997 John Waters’ cameo on the Simpsons that helped shift attitudes

enhanced pat-down: the US Transportation Security Administration keeps the loose change it collects and is factored into its operating budget

wheel estate: already priced out of the housing market, Silicon Valley communities are moving to ban people living out of their cars who work supporting the industry

bodennutzung: a trove of historic photographs from WWII bombing runs over Switzerland show how the landscape has changed over the decades 

Thursday, 23 May 2019


Though the story is still evolving and it is uncertain whether the scandal will precipitate the collapse of the coalition conservation government of Sebastian Kurz, an Austrian tabloid has secured a two-nights’ stay at the luxury villa on the Spanish holiday island where the 2017 meeting took place between woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch reportedly was able to secure public contracts in exchange for the promise of election help (in the form of buying a newspaper and turning it into a propaganda machine) from the now ousted vice-chancellor that will be awarded to a lucky reader. We can understand the concept of disaster tourism and the lure of a free get-away, regardless of the destination, and the importance of combating creeping corruption and influence peddling is crucial but I think maybe it is a touch shameless to be occurring in real-time.


For a couple of weeks, I had noticed the gap in the circle of stars on the hoodie (Pulli) donned by a local candidate standing for a MEP slot and figured that it was a subtle/not-so-subtle reference to Brexit, but was not aware of the provenance or how the design by Berlin-based David Mallon was trending and very much in fashion among pro-EU, anti-extremist politicians. One of the twelve golden mullets was removed and affixed to the back of the sweater, this simple broken circle symbolising something beyond the UK’s departure and conveying volumes tacitly and inviting dialogue.